Apple Wins Access to Information on Android Development History and Motorola Acquisition Talks

Bloomberg reports that a federal judge in Chicago has ruled that Google and Motorola Mobility must share with Apple background information on both the history of Android development and Google's pending acquisition of Motorola as part of an ongoing patent dispute between Apple and Motorola.

The development is a key one for its impact on drawing Google into the patent fight that has until now mostly seen the company staying in the background of the Android-iOS patent disputes with Apple going head-to-head with hardware manufacturers.

Google Inc. and a Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. unit were ordered by the U.S. judge presiding over an Apple Inc. patent lawsuit to turn over information about the development of Google’s Android operating system.

The Motorola Mobility unit and Google must also hand over to Apple information about Google’s pending $12.5 billion acquisition of the mobile-phone maker, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner in Chicago ruled yesterday. [...]

“The Android/Motorola acquisition discovery is highly relevant to Apple’s claims and defenses,” Apple’s attorneys’ said in a March 2 filing requesting the judge’s order.

Motorola has argued that it can not compel Google to comply with the order, given that Google acquisition of Motorola has not yet been finalized, but Judge Richard Ponser apparently disagrees with that assessment.

Access to information on Android's development history could provide Apple with more ammunition in its efforts to bring down the platform. Steve Jobs notably referred to Android as a "stolen product" in his biography, vowing to wage "thermonuclear war" with Apple's entire cash hoard in an effort to destroy Android. Apple has won several court decisions against hardware manufacturers over their Android-based products, forcing minor tweaks to their functionality and/or design in several markets, but it has not yet struck a crippling blow to either the hardware companies or Android itself.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
110 months ago

That's fascinating. How exactly can you "willfully exploit" something that by its very definition is FREE SOFTWARE. Java has been put under the GNU General Public License by SUN before Oracle acquired the company. I find playing the patent game on a technology that was made available as free software rather absurd.

Let me make this point clear. I don't know much about the GNU GP License and I've no idea what Oracle was beating at. All right? In the past I've never ever written about Oracle Vs Google because I haven't followed the case at all and I've no specifics whatsoever. My main intention was that even though some of the critical emails existed, Google explicitly hid them as they never existed. Very analogous to the situation above, a lot of confidential info will be missing in the ruling. That's all. Understood?

Android itself is also free software. While a system might be require a license from Google to get access to the Android Market and while most companies require assistant from Google to get the software running on their hardware, it nevertheless is open source software and can be used by anyone.

Understood, but that has nothing to do with this case. All I know is that Oracle is not that stupid. But again, don't discuss the specifics with me. I have no idea about them.

But regarding those eMails... Will we also get access to the eMails from Steve Jobs in which he orders his employees to rip off the LG Prada? And what about those emails in which he decreed to rip off Android's notification system? And that whole iCloud concept... Doesn't that look awfully familiar to what Google provides for their Android devices?

Say what you want, but you've been irresistibly foul mouthing Apple/Apple fans/iOS/OS X on these forums. You've never once left an opportunity to speak good of Android. But lets make some thing clear.

Apple had a case -- they got access to those documents. Just like Samsung got access to iPhone 4 firmware source-code (?) and some of the official documents from Apple for sales in Australia and contracts with Qualcomm. Lets put that rhetoric aside.

Moreover, the cloud concept existed in 1999. Apple successfully implemented it with iBooks. What part of iCloud was ripped off from Google? You mean 'sync'? Sync existed in the form of 'Email', 'Contacts', 'Calendar', 'Preferences', 'Widgets', 3rd party APIs in MobileMe. Moreover, iTools existed long before Google entered these sophisticated cloud services. As for notifications, its been beaten to death, the only part where it appears Apple copied was the drop-down gesture. That drop down gesture has been part of Symbian, WindowsMobile, iOS SBSettings; nothing new. But definitely props to Google for popularising it. Moreover, there aren't 1000s of ways of implementing those gestures. Swipe from bottom was taken by WebOS - left/right are absurd and awkward (EDIT: Just like the ****ed up notification centre in OS X Mountain Lion) and swipe from top existed before Android. Research your stuff before you speak openly about it. Enough said.

Anyway, who cares anymore. Apple has always been the sue-happiest company in the industry. And now, since there haven't been any real innovations since the introduction of the first iPhone, apparently litigation is all that's left for them to do.

Wonder where the iPad came from - AirPlay, Siri, tonnes of other innovations. But I guess for you android folks, more RAM and more Cores are the real innovations. No wonder.

EDIT: I don't wish to sound condescending. Apple is not the only company innovating period. There are companies who spend 2-3 times what Apple spends on R&D. But there's hardly a company out there out-innovating Apple with subject to the products Apple is releasing. NONE.

Don't bother replying to comment, please.

Thanks.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
110 months ago

I am not a fan of Android as a platform, but it is different and 'deserves' to continue. That was all opinion, of course.


I'm a pretty big fan of iOS and consider Android not very different. Microsoft's approach to mobile phone software on the other hand is very different.

I've had the Lumia in my hands once and although I think the phone design itself is really ugly, Windows Phone software worked fluently and has a total different approach on how a smartphone should work when comparing it to iOS. Android feels very iOS'ish to me...
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
110 months ago

Time to boycot. Tired of this crap. iPhone hasnt changed in 5 years besides minor things. Look at pictures from the first iPhone OS, until now.. It has a different dock and wallpaper.

Android is taking them to the cleaners at this point.


You're right of course. Nothing new in five years. Nothing at all. I mean, other than the App Store, multitasking, iCloud, Copy and Paste, Siri, Gamecentre, iTunes in the Cloud, Safari Reader, folders, notification centre, iMessages, Newstand, Facetime, Airplay, Airplay Mirroring and a ****-ton of other features relating to everything from the camera to how you manage the OS.

Other than all that stuff and literally hundreds of other, smaller features nothing has changed because the main screen still looks fairly similar. Yeah, just like how Windows hasn't changed in two decades cause you still have a mouse pointer and folders on the desktop.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
110 months ago
I find it really hard to have an opinion on these stories.

On the one hand, it's all wasteful and it would be nice if this sort of stuff didn't happen. On the other hand, I can't exactly wish that Apple would sit out while everyone else plays the lawyer game. That would end poorly for them.

So, basically: blaghhh
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
110 months ago

Time to boycot. Tired of this crap. iPhone hasnt changed in 5 years besides minor things. Look at pictures from the first iPhone OS, until now.. It has a different dock and wallpaper.

Android is taking them to the cleaners at this point.


Apple and it's $97 Billion in the bank beg to differ.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
110 months ago

That's fascinating. How exactly can you "willfully exploit" something that by its very definition is FREE SOFTWARE. Java has been put under the GNU General Public License by SUN before Oracle acquired the company. I find playing the patent game on a technology that was made available as free software rather absurd.


The specifications for the language named Java is licensed under the GNU General Public License, but the executable Java platform is NOT free. This must be licensed from Oracle. Did Google create their own Java based on the specifications, or use Oracle's Java executable?


Android itself is also free software. While a system might be require a license from Google to get access to the Android Market and while most companies require assistant from Google to get the software running on their hardware, it nevertheless is open source software and can be used by anyone.


You can't use the latest Android version, Ice Cream Sandwich, without a licensing agreement from Google. While Google says that Android is 'free software', this is technically only true for older versions, not the most recent versions.



I take it that you haven't been around long enough to know that Apple has always been notorious for suing anyone who had a mouse in the basement and a trash bin next to his desk. (That metaphor actually is from the 1980s when Apple sued every company that came up with an own graphical user interface. And it's noteworthy here that Apple didn't invent the graphical user interface.)


Why spout lies? Apple only sued to protect it's GUI, that it bought the rights to use from Xerox.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...